Business Case for Community Advice Offices

The Indiba-Africa Group is in the final phase of completing a study on the value the Community Advice Offices bring to the poor and vulnerable in South Africa.

This business case is the result of discussions between the National Alliance for the Development of Community Advice Offices (NACDAO) and various stakeholders about the long-term sustainability and development of the Community Advice Office (CAO) sector in South Africa. The sheer volume and depth of issues such as poverty, unemployment, crime and housing, has led to a clear recognition by all role players that poverty and other socio-economic issues can only be addressed through partnership between government, private sector and civil society. 

There are however very few mechanisms through which partnerships with civil society can be effected, at national level, to achieve scalable impact at grassroots level. The grassroots location, skills, institutional capacity and credibility of the national network of CAOs is an undervalued national asset which if correctly leveraged, can make a significant improvement in the quality of life of poor communities in South Africa. Investment in the CAO sector by government, donors and the private sector, would be an effective national, provincial and local strategy to directly address poverty and promote human rights and democracy in South Africa. 

The document will outline the rationale, opportunities and possible mechanisms for government to partner with the CAO sector on a number of issues that have been identified as critical to poverty alleviation, guaranteeing human rights and improving the living conditions of the most vulnerable groups in our society.

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